Get visible or vanish

I was lucky enough to attend a seminar for Early Career Researchers (ECRS) put on by the NTEU a couple of weeks ago. I went because I’m nearing the end of my first year, and I needed to get my head around the new ERA system. Not sure what I’m talking about? Megan McPherson’s kindly storified it for you.

As the workshop progressed, I became increasingly disheartened. Here are the thoughts that were running about in my head:

  • Am in insane to think I can get a full time job in academia after completion?
  • Am I destined to be a sessional teacher and never actually get anywhere?
  • What’s a poem worth?
  • How do we get academia to move out of machine mode and recognise, with respect and gratitude, the value of creative work that is produced within it?

I tweeted my misery, and luckily the thesis whisperer (as usual) and John Lamp came to my rescue. I can’t tell you exactly what pearls of wisdom Inger had, but they had the same effect as having a bowl of warm porridge drizzled with honey on a cold winter’s morning placed before me. Suddenly, it seemed there was cause for optimism. For harnessing Twitter and Facebook and especially for the value of self publishing on academic blogs.

John Lamp got up then and spoke about altmetrics, about finding ratings that make you sound good and unashamedly using them, about getting work out there however you can–create your own journals and invite all of your friends to read them, be broadminded about what’s valuable. We are in a new world.

Then John said this: it’s not publish or perish anymore, it’s get visible or vanish.

So, little blog, here’s what I think: writing this post is deeply valuable. Writing this post is a way of throwing my voice, and watching it echo, and trusting that people can hear.


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